Lessons from a qualitative review of parental experiences of a paediatric renal service

Carly Smith, Cara Davis, Catherine Randle-Phillips, Susannah Gibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infants and young children with established renal failure (ERF) require extensive treatment, including dialysis and kidney transplantation, putting huge practical and emotional demands on families and staff. The specific needs for support of families with infants requiring renal replacement therapy starting in the first few weeks and months of life are not well described in care guidelines.
To explore the care pathway experiences of parents of infants and toddlers with ERF being seen within one UK specialist paediatric renal unit, and to make recommendations for how to improve family experience.
Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten parents of six toddlers who had been receiving specialist renal treatment from birth.
Four main themes described parents’ experiences: Parents’ Emotional Journey; Practical Feedback to the Service; Communication; and Staff Interpersonal Effectiveness.
Incorporating recommendations based on families’ views into care pathways that meet the individual needs of families (framed by medical guidelines and models of helping) can help to improve parental experience of services. This will help alleviate parental distress, foster secure attachment relationships and encourage positive cognitive and emotional child development at a critical time. Routine monitoring of implementation and outcome of such a care pathway is essential to ensure ongoing improvement and quality of care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Kidney Care
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018


  • Infant, Parent, Care pathway, Partnership, Kidney disease, Chronic conditions


Dive into the research topics of 'Lessons from a qualitative review of parental experiences of a paediatric renal service'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this